Spirituality in Psychotherapy
For many years, psychotherapy was rigidly separate from any mention of religion or spirituality. Value was placed more on objective, scientific observation – or on the subjective interpretations of the therapist, dissected from any spiritually-oriented influence.
As the therapy profession has matured, however, spirituality has been making a comeback in the emotional healing process. So often, an individual’s emotional distress is deeply intertwined with attitudes, habits, and environments related to their spiritual or religious beliefs. To leave that potent force out of therapeutic discussion is to dissect counseling from a person’s deepest, most core self – and to make complete, comprehensive healing impossible.
At Morning Light Counseling, spirituality frequently plays a key role in the healing process. Many clients find the freedom to talk about spiritual issues in counseling a great relief. Some report that prior counseling experiences had urged them to disregard or abandon their religious beliefs, or to engage in attitudes or behaviors in conflict with their most deeply-held religious values. They often found such experiences distressing – and ultimately unhelpful.
Having their religious and spiritual values supported in therapy, in contrast, gives clients the freedom and safety to explore all of what’s bothering them – and to come to satisfying conclusions.
While no client is ever pressured to discuss spiritual concerns, being free to do so – at their own pace, and in their own chosen style – opens the door to a more complete and satisfying healing process.
The human being is part physical, part mental, part social, and part spiritual. Therapy that addresses all four of these important dimensions has a much higher likelihood of generating positive, lasting results.
-- Carrie M. Wrigley, LCSW, Morning Light Counseling